A man has been arrested after being caught on surveillance camera shooting at the windows of a church daycare in northwest Houston while at least eight babies were inside the room, according to the church’s pastor.
Juan Ruben Silva Ortiz, 43, is charged with felony terroristic threat.
Surveillance video from Advent Lutheran Church on Pinemont Drive showed him sitting on a second-floor apartment balcony firing toward the church on May 24, according to court documents.
It’s not the first time the church has been hit.
“We just thought the glass was breaking because of the heat or the glass was breaking because somebody threw a rock,” senior pastor Kim Little-Brooks told only KPRC 2.
That was her thought when it first happened in February.
The church repaired the windows and added some protective film to the glass.
But then in March, as she looked out the window toward the apartments across the fence, she saw a man on a balcony firing in her direction.
“It hit right where my face was, and then, of course, we all evacuated,” Little-Brooks said, adding that the film protected it from breaking the glass again.
Houston police responded, and Little-Brooks said they gave the neighbor a warning. The church also installed a surveillance camera pointing in that direction.
Last week, the camera captured Silva Ortiz after a different window shattered.
Teachers had to “evacuate the infant children inside and flee the area for safety,” according to court documents.
Silva Ortiz told police he was shooting at cans. He appeared in probable cause court on Thursday afternoon.
“The nature of the offense requires a high bond to ensure the safety of the community,” the hearing officer said.
His bond was set at $100,000. It was also revealed that he’s a father of seven.
According to court documents, police found two pellet guns and three carbon dioxide canisters in his apartment.
Both pellet guns “are listed as being capable on their respective manufacturer websites of causing bodily injury and or death,” according to court documents. The carbon dioxide enables the weapons to be fired at a high velocity.
“We couldn’t fathom how somebody would do that, even if they were just horsing around,” Little-Brooks said.
The church has spent thousands on repairs and is now picking up the shards of glass once again, hoping it’s the last time.
“We’re all about the children and we want to protect them,” Little-Brooks said.
Silva Ortiz is expected to be arraigned on Friday.